Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

F-150 iginition doesn't always work

I drive a 1996 F-150, 188,000+ miles. Sometimes when you turn the key in the ignition, nothing happens. Absolutely nothing. But if you wait about 2 minutes, the truck starts O.K. This has occurred a couple of times when I was starting out and killed the motor by not giving it enough gas. But it’s also occurred when the truck has been sitting for a number of hours or even overnight. It never fails to start after about a 2 minute wait. What’s going on here? I’ve had the truck in the garage, but they couldn’t replicate the problem and didn’t do anything.

The next time it won’t start, with the ignition switch on, step on the brake pedal and shift the transmission into neutral and then try starting the engine.

If the engine starts the problem is with the transmission range switch.


The “Absolutely nothing” statement might indicate a deeper problem, @Tester. If the dash doesn’t come to life and the usual buzzers sound the problem might be the ignition switch or a poor battery connection. But if all those things come to life when the key is turned on but the starter is silent when the key is twisted to the crank position I will second your diagnosis @Tester.